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Help me reboot my life with a new DIT career.
$420 raised
2% of $20k goal
7 contributors
5 Years running

Hi, I'm Jim Van Cooney, and I am seeking your help for a career change. For the last 11 years I've been freelancing as a production manager for independent film. The work has made me an administrative and technical Renaissance Man, making more with less, making things work that didn't, and finding innovative solutions to problems way bigger than the budget. But it's an unstable job.

I'm looking to switch to Digital Imaging Tech, a relatively new position that offers new challenges and opportunities. File based workflows have given rise to the world of the Digital Imaging Technician or DIT for short. What does a DIT do? Well many things, as they seamlessly bridge the gap between production and post. Part of their job is safe guarding the digital negatives by duplicating the days footage, they also create looks with on-set color correction and should have a wealth of camera and post-production knowledge to troubleshoot problems with the creation of digital images. Depending on the nature of the production that role contracts and expands accordingly. Work has become critically scarce in recent years but as a DIT I could land gigs on film sets far and near.

The proper gear is expensive, however, as is the software. A decent portable rig runs about $13K and software is around $6K. As I write this I have $0.55 in my Paypal account. So I can see the path but can't get past the toll booth.

The past three years have been exceptionally hard for me. Limited resources have twisted the landscape of the small independent fillm. The shrinking pool of projects has left many of the directors I once worked for shooting camera or PMing(my job) just to make ends meet. This has left me out in the cold. In 2012 my mother passed away and just under a year later my youngest sister followed her. As yet I have been unsuccessful in returning to a normal 9-to-5 job. The excess of competition for what few jobs are out there, and the length of time I've been away from the normal workforce have made it terrifically difficult, Just getting my foot back in the door has been very tough.

If it weren’t for the great generosity of my friends I would be starving and homeless by now.

If I could get this endeavor off the ground I'm sure I could make a go of it. It's such a new position that few professionals specialize in it. And low budget independent producers are going to find a dependable DIT who already has his own gear to be monetarily attractive.

I have worked as DIT on two projects already, and my only problem was the suitability of the gear I was working with. With a properly-dedicated system I could speed up my workflow and provide the projects with dailies to watch each night to better evaluate the shoot's progress.

Please help me reboot my career and my life. I want to work. I’m not getting any government assistance. I don’t want a handout, just a hand-up. Life has knocked me down but I’m not out yet.

Thanks for even looking at this and considering my plight. I promise to ‘pay it forward’ if I manage to get this effort off the ground.

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